This is branched off from Pazuzu’s thread about Ascended Masters & Entities.
The cabinet idea is a version of the question “If you could invite any five people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be?” - and it’s designed to get you the benefits of some of the greatest minds in history, there to give their undivided attention to your own questions and problems.
I think it’s especially useful to magicians, whose problems can’t always be discussed with the people in our lives, and it also builds up your visualisation skills.
Like most lonely kids, I developed a good imagination, and I had a fantasy life going on as a child where I’d insert myself into adventures I read about in books, and that only intensified when I got into my teens, so I’m used to running an imaginary “version” of someone - for example daydreaming about meeting my pin-ups as a teenager, imagining what they’d say, how they’d act, etc. and I always kept it as close to reality as possible - I think most of us can do that when lust is involved!
Usually the person I was attracted to was the character played by an actor, and not the actor themselves, so I’d have to find a believable way to get myself into their world and also understand as much as possible about the character so I could create the most authentic-feeling imaginary scenarios.
Later on I developed various imaginary alternate-worlds around my fictional heart-throbs that were populated by other people as well, and I always kept those other characters as authentic as I could, often based loosely on another fictional character, and I’d make sure to fully flesh them out with likes, dislikes, everything.
As I got older, I found I could sometimes get insights by discussing a version of my problems with these people, so by then it was about far more than just idle sensual daydreaming, and had become a beneficial therapuetic and insight-laden activity.
I got really serious about this side of my imagination after re-reading all Nap. Hill’s works including Think And Grow Rich in summer 2012, and his mention of his Cabinet of Invisible Counselors got me thinking that I wanted the same for myself!
As I pondered who to add (politicians and so on don’t really do it for me) I realised that I really like David Neagle, and his consultancy fees are really out of my league for 1-2-1 stuff right now.
(By the way he’s not like a pin-up or anything, I just really like his style - his stuff is based on The Kybalion and some of his articles and videos have been life-changing.)
I also realised I really like talking on the phone and that for me, this Cabinet idea would work better as being able to have “phone calls” with my counselors, because I could focus better, not have to imagine any visuals or anything that would take up mental space, and I could also have a conversation going on whilst, for example, washing-up or cooking - times when my mind often wanders and hits on new ideas - I just ahem have it on “speakerphone” on the worktop at that time.
So I bought a deactivated mobile phone (I have no idea why they’re even sold, but it was perfect for me - £3), and changed the display image to a little printout of The Magician (Rider-Waite version) and I use this to “call” my Virtual David, and the two other people I’ve kind of added to my list of imaginary friends.
One’s a counsellor I was seeing whose style was very insightful, the other’s a friend whose working hours mean we don’t get to talk that often - and of course the advantage is I can always talk to these people about anything, at any time of the day or night, without wondering what they’ll think of me, or whether they’ll keep it to themselves!
The phone’s a useful “prop” because it stops my mind from wandering, and it keeps these sessions a bit more structured - I’m either doing this, or not doing it, but there’s no blurring of lines, it makes a proper “session” out of it all.
I’m also certain this process is why I have zero doubt these days that I’m actually speaking to spirits when I do various magickal works that use telepathic communication, and not just artefacts of my own imagination - aside from results, I actually know what imaginary friends act like, and it’s nothing like real spirits, so that’s been another useful side-effect.
So, for example, if something troubles me, I grab the phone, “speed dial” it (just to add to the immersion) and then there’s my virtual buddy all lined up, already briefed on the situation, and ready to talk to me about it.
It maybe sounds crazy but it’s yielded some solid gold insights into real problems I was struggling with, and those insights, when I boiled them down to the basic principles, have then given me good information I’ve used in other areas, for example I have a very good idea now what my particular triggers are for certain emotions, and when something upsets me or annoys me I can check it against that list before deciding what to do, so I’m not just repeating some pattern of unexamined reactions.
I keep notes of any major insights, and I think it’s made me a stronger person and less a creature of set mental habits, which are a weakness - you’ve basically let the world “train you” like a performing dog to react to certain stimuli if you don’t examine those habits from time to time, and this is the most powerful tool in my armoury for doing that.
I believe a person can be batshit crazy, or at least a neurotic mess, and still be a powerful magician, but it’s not the happiest way to live, and why settle for second best? I’ve always wanted to perfect myself in every way.
Some version of this would probably be adaptable to most people’s needs, especially if, like me, you often have problems that your everyday world people can’t help with, or stuff you wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing with someone who might think it was so “weird” they just have to share it for the laugh-factor.
So, that’s how I do it - there are multiple ways to run “invisible counselors” - you could have a rosewood table in a boardroom overlooking Manhattan, where you sit at the head of the table while they offer up their expertise, you could meet them in the Parthenon over a picnic-spread of lush food and drinks, there are NO limits to the scenario or interface you choose - and add whoever you want, just try and keep them authentic because the more of the real person you bring to it, the higher the quality of their advice will be!
Here’s a “how to” guide, that has the relevant stuff excerpted from Nap. Hill’s books and also some background on how it works: The Cabinet of Invisible Counselors - artofmanliness.com.